"Bin Laden is winning the propaganda war," says the Guardian of London. "Of all the time pressures facing Washington and its allies, the daily, upward advancement of Bin Laden towards folk-hero status in the Muslim world is perhaps the most alarming. In political terms, his video disingenuously linking his evil cause with that of Palestine was as potentially devastating as the high-explosive bombs that accompanied its skilfully timed release. This was in effect the opposition's reply to George Bush's address to Congress and Tony Blair's speech in Brighton -- every bit as ambitious and far more dramatic. Although the Palestinian Authority was quick to distance itself, Bin Laden's coolly defiant rallying cry will reverberate through an Arab world weary of America's perceived double standards. Bin Laden is in danger of becoming the dark star of Islam. He is closer now than ever to provoking the war of civilisations that is his life's warped ambition. His hopes of inspiring future generations of suicidal 'martyrs,' and thus more barbaric mayhem, have never been closer to fulfilment."
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